“Underminer” Explores Tunneling for Military and Commercial Markets

Brandi Vincent, staff correspondent for Nextgov at DefenseOne.com, reports: “The key objectives of the DARPA program are to demonstrate a robot that can move at a speed of 10 cm/sec and dig a tunnel that is 500 meters in length and at least 10 cm in diameter,” GE Research’s project leader Deepak Trivedi recently told Nextgov. “We have made great progress in the project thus far and are on track to meeting these objectives.”

Through Underminer, DARPA aims to explore and demonstrate the rapid construction and uses of tactical underground tunnel networks to support the U.S. military’s efforts amid harsh environments. See a prototype in action here: 
“…Video runs at 4X the actual speed) A demonstration of GE's bio-inspired giant earthworm-like tunneling robot. The robot is shown digging through dirt in a test apparatus set up in the Robotics Lab at GE Research in Niskayuna, NY.  …Acknowledgement: This material is based upon work supported by DARPA TTO under award Acquisition Services Directorate (AQD) number D19AC00018.”

Story by Brandi Vincent, Staff Correspondent, Nextgov, posted on DefenseOne.com.  Photos courtesy of GE Research, DefemseOne.com and Brandi Vincent, Staff Correspondent at NextGov, DefenseOne[dot]com

Thanks to CDR David Place (USN/Ret), davidplace47[at]gmail[dot]com, and Robin E. Alexander, President ATC, alexander technical[at]gmail[dot]com, for their assistance with this report.

David distributes the Unmanned Systems News (USN), a free, comprehensive newsletter in PDF format every week or two, as well as serial news flashes, from which this NREF news update was sourced. To be included in his distribution, simply send David a subscribe request to davidplace47[at]gmail[dot]com.